The Galapagos Islands
By BOWEN, Emanuel , 1744

The Gallapagos Islands Discovered and Described by Capt. Cowley in 1684.

America South America
  • Author: BOWEN, Emanuel
  • Publication place: [London
  • Publication date: 1744].
  • Physical description: Engraved map.
  • Dimensions: 320 by 210mm. (12.5 by 8.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 2080


Bowen’s map of the Galapagos is one of only a few obtainable maps detailing the islands published in the eighteenth century.

Although the islands were discovered as early as 1535 it was not until 1683, when an English buccaneer vessel, the Batchelor’s Delight, under Captain John Cook landed upon its shores that it was more thoroughly investigated. The Batchelor’s Delight numbered amongst her crew William Dampier, Lionel Wafer, Ambrose Cowley and Edward Davis, all of whom would leave us with literary records of their visit. Dampier was the first to provide us with an accurate description of the islands and their fauna and flora. In 1687, William Hacke published a Galapagos map based on Cowley’s visit there in 1684. Although not very accurate, it took more than 100 years until a better version was prepared by Aaron Arrowsmith for James Colnett’s book published in 1798. After the voyage of HMS Beagle the first truly accurate map was published by the British Admiralty based on Captain Robert FitzRoy’s detailed survey of the islands.

The present map appeared in John Harris’s ‘Navigantium atque itinerantium bibliotheca. . .’, published in London in by T. Woodward in 1744.